Your company’s material handlers and industrial manipulators are some of the most important cogs that keep your warehouse moving. Their ability to move and store your goods more efficiently and speed up the work process makes them essential to your facility’s productivity.
Because they’re so crucial and a significant financial investment, it’s vital that your team follow maintenance best practices to keep them running smoothly for the long run.
So, what can you do to extend the life of your industrial manipulators? Follow our top 5 tips:
When used regularly, wear and tear should be expected for material handlers. While there is no antidote against them, you can keep your industrial manipulators running by conducting consistent routine maintenance checks.
While high-quality manipulators are built for long-term durability, many individual components have a predictable operational lifespan. This makes it easier to anticipate when a part will need some servicing or replacement. By keeping track of your parts’ lifespan, you can plan for repairs in advance and reduce potential downtime.
We suggest building a maintenance plan for your machines and material handlers, as these multiple dates and lifespans can be difficult to track. This should also include maintenance check protocols, a calendar for future checks and necessary contacts if something goes wrong with your machines. And remember, when checking or servicing your appliances, be sure to stagger appointments to keep downtime to a minimum.
Training For Proper Use
It is estimated that 43% of workplace injuries occur due to inexperience or lack of knowledge necessary to function in a workplace. This shocking statistic is brought about by employees working with machinery they have not been trained to handle.
This is how you end up needing frequent repairs (and potentially employee injuries), as the people controlling those manipulators aren’t aware of best practices or the proper way to operate them.
By making sure your team is thoroughly trained in material handler and industrial manipulator use, you’ll be saving yourself money on repairs in the future and keeping your employees safe from accidents or potential injuries.
Addressing Issues Immediately
If one thing can cost you dearly, it’s sweeping small problems under the carpet. The more issues pile up, the more dangerous of an impact they can have on workplace productivity.
For the most part, industrial manipulators don’t break down all at once. They get worn down over time by several smaller issues that continue to go unaddressed. You should do your best to tackle any troubles that affect your machinery and your employees as soon as possible, regardless of how inconsequential they may seem.
Staying on top of problems is not only helpful for the health of your manipulator. Most likely, issues are occurring due to employees misusing your machines. As you’re repairing your appliances, take the time to speak to your team and correct any improper use.
A quick tip – it’s easier to handle issues quickly when you know who to call. Keep you trained technicians and repair people’s contact information in easy-to-find places or sign on for annual maintenance contracts with equipment service providers.
Most warehouses have at least one thing in common – they’re big. The doors and windows are made to let lots of people and light in, and their docks and shipping areas are big enough to accommodate large consignments. But their size also accommodates any unwanted visitors that want to find their way inside.
Yes, the large windows and doors make for easy entry of insects, birds and rodents. Animals like this are constantly searching for food and shelter, especially in areas with inclement weather. The onset of heavy rains or winter beckons these pests to sneak into your warehouse.
Like when they make their way into your home, pests in your warehouse can be disruptive and destructive – especially for your industrial manipulators. For example, mice and rats will gnaw at anything that seems slightly edible. They can easily destroy cable sheathing and even chew the hydraulic cables.
Just like having a maintenance plan, your team should build a plan to keep pests at bay. This strategy should include:
- Identifying pests that are common in your area and the types of material they enjoy nibbling on.
- Reviewing what types of cords or other vulnerable technology assets you keep unprotected on the floor.
- Investing in pest repellant sprays, ultrasonic devices or other preventative measures.
- And, because you can never be too careful, it’s a good idea to look into local pest control companies, just in case.
Even if it looks like your industrial manipulators can power through anything, a bit of dirt in the wrong place could cause disaster. While high-quality manipulators have the durability to withstand a good deal of stress, they won’t have a high tolerance for accumulated dirt and debris.
Especially in manufacturing plants, your biggest problem will most likely be dust. Stay on top of consistent cleanings to remove dust and debris from your machines as often as your environment demands. To make it simple for yourself, consider completing a basic clean with every routine maintenance check and doing a deep clean every six months to a year.
To remove dust, we suggest using a brush to knock it off your machine and then using a vacuum cleaner to clean it up. Please note that you shouldn’t use the vacuum cleaner directly on your machinery. The proximity may cause an electrostatic discharge, ruining both the industrial manipulator and the vacuum cleaner.
Also, pay attention to the dust and debris buildups on air inlets, filters, cooling fans and heat dissipators. These components are responsible for evacuating heat from the machinery. When these aren’t operating as they should, the result can be quite expensive or even cause fires.
Keep Your Manipulator in Shape
Extending the life of your industrial manipulators requires continuing attention to their external appearance and internal operations. With the steps we’ve listed above, you’ll be able to take better care of your newer machines and use them well into the future.
Luckily, when using a Dalmec industrial manipulator, our manuals spell out how to perform routine maintenance checks and troubleshooting tops for our specific machines to answer all your questions.
However, there comes a time when no matter how diligently you care for your machines, they can no longer get the job done.
In such cases, it may be time to replace your equipment. At Dalmec, we provide industrial manipulators for all types of industries, from electromechanics to pharmaceuticals. Contact our team of experts to discuss your warehouse’s material mover options.